When I built my practice in Temecula, California, it was the second fastest growing town in the US. With no more marketing than a sign out front to let people know I was there, we were booming. The trouble was that I was working so hard I was fried and didn’t know how long I could go on at that pace without facing burnout. I was making good money but I didn’t feel like I was getting ahead. Something was missing. There was something about running a practice that I didn’t know, I knew I didn’t know it, and it was getting to me.
Part of the difficulty was that I hadn’t chosen the kind of staff I really needed around me. Most of them wanted our practice to stay nice and small, safe and quiet, while I wanted to climb to the top of the profession and play in the major leagues. I guess I was so involved with work, I was blind to applicants who’d become cool and “polite” every time I’d get enthusiastic about expansion. I think I was so busy that it never occurred to me that such staff were never really on board. None of my staff were winners, or “gunners” as I call them. A “gunner” isn’t someone who wants to coast along; a “gunner” is someone who truly enjoys what they’re doing, likes people, and is genuinely interested in succeeding.
I was getting into detail about my troubles with a buddy from dental school when he said, “You ought to talk to Sterling.” I said, “Well, you didn’t steer me wrong on my other major decision,” (he introduced me to my wife!) “so I’ll give it a shot.”
The Sterling consultant I talked to didn’t tell me I’d get rich overnight. Instead he told me what I needed to hear, that I didn’t know how to choose or manage staff effectively, or how to skillfully manage a dental practice as a business. It took fifteen minutes of such straight talk before I said, “This program sounds exactly like what I’m looking for.”
That was twenty years ago. Not only did I not burn out, I built my ideal practice doing the kind of work most doctors only dream about. I’m happy with my career choice. I have an outstanding staff that love going for big goals. I have wonderful patients, a gross of 1.5 million dollars, and we’re heading toward two million this year.
I won’t say Sterling helped me get here; I’ll go further. Without Sterling’s workable practice management technology, I would have burned out and sold my practice and none of this would have happened. Sterling’s technology was the missing ingredient I needed. I don’t understand how anyone can survive, prosper and lead a happy life as a dentist, spouse and parent without it.
David Cutts, DDS